Behind Red Hat Server Hardening (RH413)

by Scott McBrien (Red Hat)

My name is Scott McBrien. I work for the Red Hat Training Curriculum Development Team and was the project leader for the development of the Red Hat Server Hardening (RH413) course. Before joining the Red Hat Training Curriculum Development Team, I worked as both a Red Hat training instructor and consultant. I hope that my field experiences show through in our new class.

When I first started thinking of writing a security focused class, I tried to think about what story would make a compelling course that I, and other systems administrators, would like to attend. One of the topics that I have seen grow to be pervasive in the systems administration community is Security Policy Compliance. Many of us have had the lovely experience of having someone from another team, or an outside consultant, come in to run some type of scanning software against our machine, and say “You’re not in compliance with SECURITY-STANDARD”. In my experience, the systems administrator is told to fix the deficiency without a lot of direction from the person telling them that there’s a problem, or worse, they are given instructions by someone who is not an expert on the technology, which fixes the audit deficiency, but down the line causes problems. A situation that I see over and over again is systems administrators being told to install non-supported software on their Red Hat Enterprise Linux machines because the version they have is “old” or “vulnerable”. In reality, Red Hat does a lot of work to publish updates to Red Hat Enterprise Linux (and other products) so that an administrator can use supported, packaged software from Red Hat and not have software open to known vulnerabilities. Red Hat’s update management and application of updates is the first topic in “Red Hat Server Hardening”.

Continue reading “Behind Red Hat Server Hardening (RH413)”

GUEST POST: Software and configuration management made easy with RPM

by Christian Stankowic

If you’re maintaining multiple Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems (or equivalent offsets like CentOS or Scientific Linux) your administration work with the particular hosts will gain in a routine. Because even the best administrator might forget something it would be advantageously to have a central software and configuration management solution. Chef and Puppet are two very mighty and popular mangement tools for this application. Depending on your system landscape and needs these tools might also be oversized though – Red Hat Package Manager (RPM) can emerge as a functional alternative in this case.

It is often forgotten that RPM can be used for sharing own software and configurations as well. If you’re not managing huge system landscapes with uncontrolled growth of software and want to have a easy-to-use solution, you might want to have a look at RPM.

I’m myself using RPM to maintain my whole Red Hat Enterprise Linux system landscape – this article will show you how easy RPM can be used to simplify system management.

Continue reading “GUEST POST: Software and configuration management made easy with RPM”

Red Hat announces new OpenStack certification

by Iain Gray, vice president, global services, Red Hat

Today is an exciting day for Red Hat as we announce our new Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Infrastructure-as-a-Service and expanded training in support of Red Hat’s OpenStack technology.

We launched Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform at the Red Hat Summit in June as a core part of our open hybrid cloud strategy. There is a huge amount of excitement about OpenStack both at Red Hat and from our customers. In terms of company focus, it truly is “the next Linux.” Our goal is to bring our enterprise experience to the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) market and provide an OpenStack platform that our customers can trust.

We are committed to providing services that help our customers use OpenStack to get their products to market faster. We recently launched a range of IaaS-focused offerings. From cloud migration strategy consulting, to Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform product-pilot implementation services, through complete IaaS-based solution development, we can support our customers through every stage in their cloud journey. Red Hat OpenStack Administration (CL210), a course we introduced earlier this year, helps customers build their teams’ readiness to adopt and use this new technology.

Today, we complement and expand these offerings by introducing the Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Infrastructure-as-a-Service and expanding the Red Hat OpenStack Administration course to cover new capabilities in the latest release and to provide preparation for the Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Infrastructure-as-a-Service Exam (EX210).

Continue reading “Red Hat announces new OpenStack certification”

Five Questions with…Rich Heironimus, middleware practice lead, Red Hat Consulting

by Rich Heironimus (Red Hat)

It’s no secret that middleware is increasingly a critical component of integrating, automating and accelerating business. With the rapid development of new technologies and platforms, we caught up with Rich Heironimus for his thoughts as to the latest trends arounds middleware, and what it means for developers.

How are customers using middleware today?
Today, middleware is increasingly helping customers achieve business agility. The flexibility that a well-architected system brings to the customer ultimately translates into better business efficiency. Legacy systems are often tightly coupled and making changes becomes more and more expensive over time. Many customers are building an integration or SOA foundation that leverages BPM and BRMS to achieve business agility by deploying their key processes and rules in middleware platforms. As more customers become more globalized, many customers are trying to deploy standardized processes and rules across the region or globe with localized changes or differences. BPM and BRMS middleware is enabling this flexibility.

What are some trends happening right now in the middleware space?
Middleware is being used to reduce the time to market for new applications by leveraging the efficiency driven through integration and BPM/BRMS platforms. Customers are revamping legacy workflow driven applications by refactoring them on a BPM/BRMS platform and owning the changes. Big data is also driving Complex Event processing, rules and process adoption.

Continue reading “Five Questions with…Rich Heironimus, middleware practice lead, Red Hat Consulting”

Announcing the Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Server Hardening

by Randy Russell (Red Hat)

I am pleased to announce our newest certification, Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Server Hardening. This new Certificate of Expertise will take the place of the Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Security: Network Services and Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Directory Services and Authentication. Red Hat Certified Professionals working towards earning Red Hat Certified Security Specialist (RHCSS), Red Hat Certified Datacenter Specialist (RHCDS) or Red Hat Certified Architect are able to visit our Certification FAQ to learn more about how this new Certificate of Expertise fits into these programs. Why are we introducing this new credential and replacing long-standing ones with it?

Every year, Las Vegas plays host to DEF CON® Hacking Conference, which is routinely described as the world’s biggest hacker conference. Most people attend to learn about security exploits so that they can protect themselves and others. At last year’s conference many speakers within the DEF CON community spoke about the important of asking questions, engaging with others while at the conference and sharing knowledge.

One speaker, who is particular well-established, likewise made such a statement. He then went on to say that in order to speak to him, there were requirements. He then proceeded to enumerate, accompanied by slides, the vast array of skills and knowledge one needed in order to be worthy to step into his presence. His rigorous list would be an excellent checklist for someone who wanted to have a heavy-duty, information assurance consulting practice. However, many of us must think about security and implement practices that address specific risk factors with appropriate levels of time, effort and money. It is not our role to contemplate the vast everythingness of everything. We need to ensure that we have taken appropriate steps on systems within our care. In short, we need focus within that deep, broad ocean called security.

Continue reading “Announcing the Red Hat Certificate of Expertise in Server Hardening”

Java enterprise application migration: The four pillars of success

by Brad Davis (Red Hat)

With the release of Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform 6, Red Hat successfully delivered a full JEE 6-compliant container that is both lightweight and enterprise ready. As a result, many IT leaders are actively looking to shift their application workloads away from proprietary technologies like Websphere and Weblogic to JBoss EAP.

But questions about cost, risk and starting point often stand in the way.

In response, Red Hat Consulting has developed a proven methodology, identifying four key pillars to a successful migration. Leveraging Planning, Participation, Communication, and Follow through, more and more customers are easily migrating from legacy platforms to JBoss EAP.

The Planning pillar analyzes an organization’s proprietary applications and processes. This stage elicits an understanding of the application environment, as Red Hat’s JBoss Windup tooling quickly scans applications to find and estimate migration effort for each application. Data from the Windup report allows us to group applications together and to plan for optimized parallel or repeatable migrations where appropriate. Those critical to the migration’s success from a business, development and operational standpoint are also consulted to best understand the skill sets, procedures, and timelines needed to support development, architecture, deployment, maintenance and monitoring tasks.

Continue reading “Java enterprise application migration: The four pillars of success”